Hazy memories and Waihi Beach

It’s the same procedure every year, it would seem: everyone goes into frantic stress mode weeks and weeks before Christmas. Plans are made, drinks and dinners and parties had in quick succession, gifts bought both well in advance and in a last minute panic, trees bought and decorated so early that by Christmas Day they’re sorry barren heaps on living room floors that seem to feature ant hills as a result, and enough food to last for months purchased and fretted over. And all of this for those few days that pass quicker than you can possibly jingle your bells. Yep, sitting here well into January and just like almost every year it seems Christmas is but a hazy memory.

To be fair, at Casa Anna Christmas is a fairly laid back affair, as most things are. This is ironic as I am a bona fide control freak and stress head with a generous sprinkling of OCD. I like things JUST SO, or as hubby-to-be not so affectionately refers to it: the Anna Way. I’m not about to apologise because I have yet to experience a moment when a way other than MINE works better. Just sayin’. Lucky for me, B is a very chilled out creature – not everyone enjoys being barked at for cutting the Christmas ham too thickly by a 1000th of a millimetre but B takes it all in his stride even though I do catch him rolling his eyes sometimes. In spite of my dictatoresque nature and step by step “mind maps” of each day ahead, stress doesn’t seem to find its way into our home very often. Well – stress not inflicted by me on B and Monkey that is.

Given our mixture of British, Swedish and Kiwi, we went with our usual theme – Christmas Eve we had Swedish Christmas and Christmas Day the British version. I was in charge of the Swedish extravaganza (or traditional ham and various dodgy fish options at any rate) and allowed B to think he was in charge of British/Kiwi stuff on Christmas Day. We had all our boys with us this year, which was just glorious and very special. I guess it was a typical Christmas – we ate loads, drank less than expected funnily enough, opened gifts, watched TV and films and played board games. Pretty straight forward stuff with the emphasis on enjoying each others’ company.

Boxing Day we went to Sweden. The older boys weren’t able to come along this time so it was just me, B and Monkey. Only a short week, but it was fabulous. Stayed in Paradise (aka Falla) as usual and sent off lanterns on New Year’s Eve. There are so many farms and most people have pets, usually dogs, so fireworks just isn’t an option, it’d just be too disrespectful and mean to all the neighbours so lanterns it was. Monkey spent the majority of his time with his cousins as usual and we finally got to meet the newest addition, Jack. A shock of bright, blond hair, chunky big thighs and dimples instead of knuckles. I had to stop myself from biting the little thing, he’s just too cute and of course a clone like his three older brothers. Daniel and Marie won’t be needing any DNA tests for that lot, that’s for certain. Also discovered that Dad and I are truly “back” to where we should be after a spat some time ago that really upset the balance for a while. There were some other things going on and Dad sort of turned to me, which made me so happy, and now we’re truly back to where we always were. Thick as thieves. They may all be my family, but I genuinely love them all and would pick all those nutters as besties if I weren’t already tied to them in this way. Awesome, and I’m so lucky. So, so lucky.

Only little mis-hap was a little delight called a Bartholin’s Cyst. Yep, it deserves capitalisation because it grew to the size of a golf ball. Appeared from nowhere on the morning of New Year’s Eve. Swedish doctors wouldn’t prescribe antibiotics and ordered me to drive an hour and a half to the next bigger town to have it LANCED, and without being put under at that. I think not. Put a needle in that thing only if you have a sincere death wish. So I took my chances, plus took penicillin my brother had in a cupboard that had been for tonsillitis or something – silly, I know, but this is the third time I have this cyst (sorry, Cyst) and I knew what was coming and was therefore desperate. By the time we got back to London I was in absolute agony so we went straight to A&E. First doctor said to operate but the second decided to sent me on my not so merry way with antibiotics with the instruction that if that didn’t help they’d do the fairly small and simple surgery (but with a general anaesthetic, hurrah!) the following Friday.

Well. I suppose the antibiotics helped somewhat in getting rid of the infection as my on-off high fever stopped after a day or so, but the damn thing just got bigger and bigger. Thursday all I could do was sit in a hot bath and pray it would rupture off its own accord, and thankfully…. …it did. Pretty gross so I won’t account for that little moment, but when I rocked up at hospital the next day they could just squeeze out, ahem, the rest of the “stuff” shall we say, and hopefully that’s now that and the devil thing won’t come back to bother me again any time soon. Painful as hell and of course you get the fever too so four days off work, which was a bad start to the year, but nothing serious so hey ho!

Now all back to normal, wondering where Christmas went, but so excited about 2017!! In the middle of sorting out our wedding bands, venue and everything around it. It looks as though it’ll be Kingston Register Office with our boys and then a party in Sweden, which was always more or less the plan. A pre-wedding celebration in New Zealand when we are there in less than a month too. Can’t. Freakin’. Wait. Taking all the boys so the tickets cost a fortune but it is so worth it and I can’t wait to see all the family there. Never mind that it’s NEW FREAKIN’ ZEALAND which is bloody amazing in itself! Waihi beach, here we come!

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